The placenta is an organ that develops during a woman’s pregnancy, insider her uterus. It attaches to the wall of the womb and provides the unborn child with nutrients and oxygen during their development. It is expelled as part of the childbirth process and in modern medicine doctors cut the umbilical cord connecting the child to the placenta. But that’s not the only tactic you can take. Historically humans have found a few different ways to put the placenta to use. The more mundane often involve leaving the placenta attached to the newborn so it can continue to provide the child with nutrients after birth, and the more bizarre almost always involve eating it.
Cue, Kiley Whitworth, aged 23, who gave birth to her son Samuel earlier this week. After spotting a card on her maternity ward that offered a service known as placenta encapsulation, she contacted the company and asked them to turn her placenta into chocolate treats. She then filmed the process and posted it to her snapchat, showing the placenta being dehydrated, cleared of blood, and then ground and added into the ingredients for chocolate truffles.
The heart shaped treats can then be eaten by her and her partner, Nick.
Kiley spoke to reporters after she gained internet fame for her decision and told them:
“After I gave birth to my newborn, Samuel, at an all-natural midwife centre, I saw a card for a placenta encapsulation and decided why not?
“I was hesitant because I know it's gross, but after researching all the health benefits I decided it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Your baby lives off that. That's how they get all their nutrients from you, so when you give birth and get rid of it, you're losing all those nutrients.”
You know what the world really didn't need? Someone making chocolates from their placenta - https://t.co/LUkrzvhJQC— J.C.W 👊🏽 (@vonOberst) 10 March 2018
Many claim that eating your own placenta is a valuable way to recycle nutrients and essential vitamins and proteins lost during the childbirth process, and others claim that the oxygen rich organ is a fantastic way for mothers to recoup some of their lost strength. Others point out that it is a practice that probably originated because of a hungry cavewoman, and in an age with drive-thrus there’s no longer the need to gobble up everything that glistens in a desperate bid put of starvation.
The trend began in the 1970s and hasn’t really gone anywhere since. We’re happy that mothers can find a way to feel healthier after such an enormous strain on their bodies. But we still can’t help but cringe at the thought of someone slurping up an umbilical cord like a toddler eating spaghetti.